Zhang Yimou's "Impression Dahongpao" has official premiere

2010-04-01 09:10 BJT

"Impression Dahongpao" is the fifth and the latest production of Zhang Yimou's Impression features. After the "Liu Sanjie" in Guilin, "Lijiang" in Yunnan, "West Lake" in Hangzhou and Hainan Island, this time, China's tea King Dahongpao of Wuyi Mountain is given the 'Impression' treatment.

Zhang Yimou's next feature is "Impression Putuo," a sacred Buddhist mountain on an island in eastern Zhejiang province. If all goes well, the new feature will debut at the end of this year.

Zhang Song, reporter of Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, said, "The biggest distinction of the impression series is using natural landscape as both the stage and background. And now there is another breakthrough. The audience seats can move offering a view of 360 degrees. Zhang Yimou and his teams are redefining the stage performance in China. "

Light is the magician of the night. Creatively and cleverly, whatever the director wants the audience to focus on becomes suddenly illuminated as if materializing out of nothingness.

Every inch of the natural scene around you is united, the symbolic Dawang Peak, the flowing river, the trees, the stones. You name it when you see it.

A pivoting stage makes it possible for the 2,000 audience members to enjoy a circular view that changes as the play goes on. The innovation stretches the viewer's perception... to as far as several miles away.

15 big screens are hidden somewhere in the distant mountains. They only appear when the show needs them to help present an illusion of the touching legendary love story of two major peaks of the Wuyi mountains.

However, all the lights and high-tech effects are employed not only to show off the beauty and grandeur of the natural scenery, but to impress upon the audience the spirit of China's traditional tea culture.

Wang Chaoge, director of "Impression Dahongpao", said, "Today, it's easy to see people drinking instant tea in bottles. We are leaving the soul of China's tea culture further and further behind. It dose not matter how expensive the tea is that you drink. The key is what's the mood when you drink it. Gongfu tea needs a special Gongfu. That is it needs time... it needs you to calm down, forget the city beat, throw away all the things that bother you, annoy you. That's what we want the audience to get, and find an oasis for their hearts."

Dahongpao, or the big red robe, is an exclusive specialty of Wuyi Mountain, which was listed as both natural and cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1999. With a history of hundreds of years, Dahongpao is honored as the King of China's tea. Now the fame of Dahongpao is re-enhanced for Zhang Yimou's "Impression Dahongpao".

Tens of thousands of tickets have already been sold for the production, which is staged almost every night at the foot of Wuyi Moutain. Its popularity greatly boosts local tourism. The usual daytime travel package for Wuyi Mountain now adds new entertainment for travellers when night falls.

Zhang Yimou said, "China's cultural industry has seen a big development in recent years. There are numerous artists and investors who eager to push the country's cultural industry forward. The Impression series is a good example. It offers an experience of stage art and natural beauty, it promotes China's rich and diverse culture, and at the same time it offers jobs and earns money. We hope there will be more people to join us."

Zhang Yimou and his long time assistant directors Wang Chaoge and Fan Yue are known as the Iron Triangle. They are the creative heads behind the Impression series, which started in 2003 at Yangshuo village in southern China. In 7 years, the group has produced 5 "Impression" features, making the series a well-known brand in China. At the beginning, none of them expected such a success, but now they are determined to impress audiences more and more with "impressions" of China's natural beauty and rich culture.

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